Count Your Blessings, Not Your Things

Count Your Blessings, Not Your Things

The concept that potential possibilities are worth more than physical possessions seems to be pretty obvious, but sometimes people tend to forget about it
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When I graduated from college, I moved back home with my parents to save money (ah yes, the perpetual millennial plight). I packed up my four years of college into the back of my Jeep, and made that final, milestone drive home. As I was unpacking in my childhood bedroom, it hit me: why do I have so much stuff? How, in my four years of being at college, did my possessions seem to quadruple? And why on earth did I ever think that I needed all of this? I had boxes of pointless junk laying around my bedroom for months, because I had nowhere to put any of it. Trying to fit all my clothes in the closet was completely hopeless. I had books piled on top of each other on shelves, and plastic bags full of makeup on the floor. After two months, it became too much.

I purged everything – I dug through my closet and pulled out items of clothing that I had once loved, but hadn’t worn in ages. Sun dresses, jeans, t-shirts, shoes, everything. By the end of it, I donated about ten garbage bags full of clothes. With the biggest project tackled, I moved on – makeup, books, old knick knacks. I tossed old, grimy makeup, piled unwanted books into a box to be donated, and sifted through various items that I had could have only been keeping for some lost sentimental reason.

When it was all good and done, I felt like I could finally breathe again. Six months later, I still get rid of anything I can to make room in my life – not for more things, but just for possibility. For space. Physical possessions have started to feel like weighted shackles chained to my ankles.

I don’t know why I ever thought I needed so much stuff. Sure – I’ll always love clothes, and shoes, and purses, and just treating myself to retail therapy in general. But an old college roommate of mine once said something to me, during a conversation in which we were talking about how much we both loved to travel, and it has stuck with me ever since. It went a little something like this: “I almost never go shopping, buy clothes or go out to eat – because every time I spend, I just think about where that money could have bought me a flight to.”

Ever since then, that’s how I think. Before I spend money on anything nonessential, I think about where that money could take me - and it has completely changed my spending habits.

That idea, combined with the anxiety that was created by having so much stuff, is what fueled my desire to get rid of a lot of it. I sold a lot of stuff that at one point I thought I “needed” – old phones, iPods, video games, camera equipment, clothes, jewelry. The concept that potential possibilities are worth more than physical possessions seems to be pretty obvious, but sometimes people tend to forget about it . And with each item I packed up and shipped off, I felt more and more weight being lifted. I’ve started to pay more attention to my blessings instead of my possessions, actively being thankful for everything good in my life that wasn’t grounded in a physical object.

Some people love the holidays, some people don’t. I happen to be one of those annoying people who starts listening to Christmas music in November. But even if you’re not exactly fond of the holiday spirit – make sure you look back on this past year (boy, wasn’t 2016 a doozy), and remember to count your blessings instead of your things.

I’m thankful for my loving family, my supportive, loyal friends, and for my adoring boyfriend. I’m thankful to be in good health, and I’m thankful for my three dogs, which bring joy into my life each and every day. I’m thankful for warm sunny days, the ocean, and holiday cheer. And I’m thankful for all the opportunities I have been and will be given.

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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To The Stressed Out College Student, Be Optimistic For Spring Quarter

I am looking forward to a productive spring quarter.

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As a strenuous ten weeks of winter quarter is finally coming to a close, there is no better feeling than to be rewarded with a week of spring break. For most colleges and universities, this period of time is one of excitement and relief, as students approach a summer vacation that begins in May. Yet, for students with schedules revolving around the lovable (and often hatable) quarter system, it feels as though summer is far from our reach.

On a personal note, my previous ten weeks of classes have been bearable at best. I can proudly say that I have been counting down the days until spring break since our winter quarter began in January, though now that the week is finally approaching, I am reminded by the fact that I have yet another ten weeks of school in the near future. Interestingly enough, I have not started the countdown to June 18th quite yet. Instead, I am looking forward to a productive spring quarter that will leave me feeling energized and accomplished as I enter into a fresh summer.

I believe that the spring quarter withholds a sense of refreshment and newfound energy in comparison to that of fall and winter. Though students on the quarter system will end classes later than others, there is something to be said for spending days on campus when the warm weather finally breaks. Time seems to pass faster than it did in the dark and ominous weeks of winter quarter, and everyone seems to have a more positive attitude - as we can all see that vacation is approaching.

To the stressed out college student, be optimistic for spring quarter. Though tests and finals will still be ever-present, the completion of another ten weeks of classes is excellent motivation to achieve success and reward yourself within the coming months.

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